We escape Delaware unscathed and without being thrown in jail. We arrive in Philly around midnight which gives us plenty of time to meet up with my friend from Austin, Terrence, and have him show us a bit of the Philly nightlife. All we have to do is find the bar that he's at...which proves to be much more difficult than we ever imagined. For literally an hour we circle some neighborhood of Philly (it seems very nice) looking for this bar and periodically pulling over and checking on a map. By the time we realize we're on the wrong side of the highway, it's already about 1am. Finally we find the bar! Of course, we spent the entire day in the hottest city on our trip and then spent another 3 hours in the car so none of us are looking our best. We desperately tried to find a gas station to change in while circling the city and found nothing so our only option is to change in the street...which is exactly what we do. We unload our bags from the trunk, throw our stuff all over the side walk and change as best we can in a dark Philadelphia street. Magically we end up looking not half bad and we make our way to the bar.
It turns out to be a pretty cool little place called Silk City. There's a big room with music and a dance floor and then a tiny diner in an old rail car. We don't stay long though, since it's almost closing time. We head on to the house of Terrence's friends. It is an adorable 3-story house which a great patio out back where we sit and drink beer until way too early in the morning. As we head home we have a brief puking session by our Sam into our faithful cooler...too much beer and too much heat and not enough sleep got to him, I think. Sadly, we're forced to retire our cooler into Terrence's parents' garbage can as soon as we pull up to the house.
The house is beautiful:
And although it's very close, it's technically not in Philly. Technically it's not in Pennsylvania either! It's actually in New Jersey. Sort of cool that everything is just so close up there. Anyways, we head off to slumberland (Sarah and I get the use of the guestroom and enjoy not sharing a bed for once).
The next morning we wake up and are greeted by Terrence's amazing mother who provides us with bagels and coffee (delicious New Jersey bagels, by the way). Terrence actually had to fly back to Austin that morning so it's just his mom and us. She is an amazing lady who has traveled a ton so we swap travel stories. She also gets us directions to the Liberty Bell. We part ways and head towards the liberty bell (we also get a tad lost and end up in Camden, which apparently is one of the most dangerous areas of the US. Very exciting). As it turns out, we were driving past it probably more than once when we were lost the night before. We park and head towards the little museum that surrounds the bell. As we walk happily along, I spot a couple having their photo taken. As we get closer I realize that I know the man! He happens to be one of my dad's best friends from middle school who oddly enough lives in California. I shout over to him and we do some catching up. Turns out that he and his girlfriend are on their way back to his (and my dad's) hometown for his father's 80th birthday but they thought they'd take a quick 3-day trip to Philly since they had never been before.
We took pictures as proof:
Strange coincidence indeed. We leave him for the Liberty Bell. A brief wait in a tiny line and we are in to the museum! Sadly, another national monument that is not nearly as exciting as anticipated. First off, we all thought that the Liberty Bell has some amazing story about the bell breaking upon the very first ringing. Turns out it broke more than once and just got repaired. It was also incredibly crowded and made picture taking really difficult. As we leave we agree to go with our original story about the bell breaking in some epic way. Before heading for the Rocky Balboa steps, we stop for Philly Cheesesteaks in a nearby park.
The perfect weather and the beautiful park made for a nice break from the heat. Sadly, upon returning to my car I discover a parking ticket...our meter had been up for literally 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. This is when I decided that I hated Pennsylvania.
We head towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the "Rocky steps." Remember the Rocky steps?
It turns out to be a beautiful museum in itself. Plus there is a really neat statue in front of the museum where a hilarious gay couple is trying to take this photo:
It wasn't raining.
So we do the Rocky run up the stairs (the boys actually film themselves running up them) and realize that we've done our time in Philly. We pack ourselves back into the car and begin our journey to New Jersey. Of course, as it happens in Pennsylvania, we get lost for literally another hour in some back roads of PA but eventually we make it to the New Jersey Turnpike and get the hell out of there.